QB Jordan Love makes NFL debut during Packers’ blowout loss to Saints

By Zach Kruse

Did the end of Sunday’s blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints give the Green Bay Packers a brief glimpse into the future?

Second-year quarterback Jordan Love made his NFL debut on Sunday in Jacksonville, playing two series in the fourth quarter after Aaron Rodgers and the Packers fell behind 38-3.

Rodgers’ future remains very much up in the air. By Week 1 in 2022, Love could be the new starting quarterback in Green Bay.

A disastrous performance by the current starter opened the door for Love to see the field for the first time in a regular season game on Sunday.

The Packers’ first-round pick in 2020 completed five of seven passes for 68 yards. He didn’t throw a touchdown or an interception but did lose a fumble on a strip-sack after driving the Packers 54 yards and into the red zone on the team’s final possession of the contest.

Among Love’s completions were a 19-yard strike to rookie Amari Rodgers on 3rd-and-7 and a 32-yard connection with Randall Cobb.

Here’s the completion to Rodgers:

And here’s the completion to Cobb:

Rodgers threw a pair of interceptions, including a back-breaking pick as the Packers were trying to mount a comeback to start the second half. He completed just 15 passes for 133 yards and didn’t have a touchdown pass. His 36.8 passer rating was the fourth-worst of his career as a starter.

Love didn’t get a preseason and was inactive in all 18 games as a rookie. He played in two preseason games this summer, but the Packers probably never thought he’d get extended action to start the regular season without an injury to Rodgers or a blowout in the Packers’ favor.

Game situation necessitated the move on Sunday. Coach Matt LaFleur inserted Love into the game with over 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter and the Packers trailing by 35 points.

Love had a chance to get the Packers into the end zone for the first time in 2021 on his final drive, but a protection breakdown led to a strip-sack – the team’s second red-zone turnover of the contest.

The circumstances weren’t ideal, but the Packers need every evaluation opportunity they can get as a crossroads for the franchise approaches at the quarterback position. The information gathered over the next five or so months – about both Rodgers and Love – will drive the decision. And if Rodgers wants out, or the Packers are ready to turn the page, Love will be starting this game in a year’s time.


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